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FDIC Delays A Servicing Rights Sale Yet Again

One of the most anticipated servicing auctions of the year-the sale of roughly $23 billion of AmTrust servicing rights-has once again been delayed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

At press time, the agency was saying little about the matter, but the sale is still expected to go forward some time this summer, according to investment bankers close to the situation. "No definitive date has been given," said one source, requesting his name not be used.

Milestone Merchant Partners, Miami, is the agency's advisor on the sale. An official at the firm said he could not comment at this time.

Investment bankers that have reviewed the offering circular on the receivables attribute the delay, in part, to the portfolio's large size. The delinquency rate on the underlying loans is relatively low.

Also, investment banking sources say the FDIC is in the middle of wrapping up a $1 billion sale of delinquent AmTrust whole loans.

The sale of AmTrust's servicing rights has been delayed twice already. The latest bid deadline was mid-June. Originally, the agency had hoped to wrap up bidding at the end of May.

The Cleveland-based thrift failed late last year. New York Community Bank, Westbury, N.Y., bought most of its assets, including AmTrust's wholesale network, but did not want the servicing rights.

The AmTrust portfolio is the largest bulk portfolio to hit the market in at least a year, if not longer. Flagstar and Thornburg Mortgage have both sold large packages over the past 12 months, each in the $10 billion range. Thornburg, though, was in bankruptcy at the time of sale.

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